Content copyright © Tramway Museum Society of Victoria Inc. Reproduced with permission.
Geelong today, is the second largest urban area in the State of Victoria, with a population of 91,666 at the 1961 census. It is situated 45 rail miles south west of Melbourne, on the shores of Corio Bay (an arm of Port Phillip Bay). Geelong is Victoria's second port, and has a wide variety of industries. The greater Geelong area now comprises the City of Geelong, City of Geelong West, City of Newtown and Chilwell, and portions of the Shires of Bellarine, South Barwon, and Corio.
Although tramways were considered quite seriously in September, 1888, and an Order-
The (motored) tramcars were originally fitted with small destination boxes at the front of their roofs, magnetic track brakes, tip-
The first extension was opened in November, 1913, to South Geelong, at the Barwon River. During 1913-
The next few years saw considerable expansion of the Geelong tramways, with four route extensions and a number of tramcars being added to the roster. The first extension of trackage was opened on 13th September, 1927, to Chilwell, followed by the line to Belmont on 16th October, 1927 (subsequent to the completion of a new bridge across the Barwon River). The expanding industrial area of North Geelong received its tramway service on 6th July, 1928, while the rails to Eastern Park were put into service on 1st September, 1930 (to serve the large park and recreational area, including the football ground, as well as a residential area). Eight new, large, tramcars were built by the Adelaide firm of Pengalley and Company on “Radiax” trucks. They were of distinctive appearance and massive construction, being fitted with twin trolley poles, because of their 35 feet length. They were the last tramcars to be built in Australia with clerestory roofs, entering service during 1925-
The State Electricity Commission of Victoria was created by Act of Parliament to be the main electricity supply authority of Victoria, and was vested with power to generate same or to purchase existing electricity supply companies. Negotiations were carried out with the Melbourne Electric Supply Company Limited during the late 1920's, and it was agreed that the S.E.C. Should purchase the company from 31st August, 1930.
The S.E.C. quickly surveyed the state of the Geelong tramway system, and found that it was in very good condition (unlike the Ballarat and Bendigo tramways, which were inherited at the same time). Most of Geelong's track was less than ten years old, and all its rolling stock less than twenty years old. However the depression of the 1930's caused a decline in passengers, and it was decided to introduce one-
The Depot has undergone a number of changes over the years. The 1924 alteration has been mentioned. Subsequently, the rear of the Shed was modified by the extension of the two southern roads. These tracks left the rear of the shed by large doors, crossed the narrow street and entered a two-
About the end of World War II, the S.E.C. decided to purchase a number of surplus maximum traction bogie cars from the M.&M.T.B. The first four arrived in 1947, becoming Nos. 31 to 35, and were followed by two more in 1948 (Nos. 35 and 36), and four more in 1951 )Nos. 37 to 40). The first six cars were replacements for the six “Birney” cars which where transferred to Bendigo during 1947 to 1949, with the last four were additional units. The Geelong rolling stock thus reached its maximum of 31 passenger tramcars. It is of interest that Geelong was the last tramway system in Australia to operate with an all-
Subsequent to an enquiry, the State Government announced plans to replace the Geelong trams with privately operated bus services in November, 1955. The closure was to be undertaken in four steps: firstly, on January 8th, 1956 the last cars ran on the routes to East, West and Chilwell, together with the latter's regular workings to Beach and Railway. Cars were provided on the two latter as required. The second abandonment was on 24th January, when Newtown and Eastern Park routes ceased. The third closure was the route to North on 4th March, while Belmont went out in a real blaze of glory on 25th March, 1956. No. 4 – which had opened the system-